Tips for driving in Greece
3 December 2023
Advice, Checklist & Legal Requirements
Technically, it's illegal in towns and urban areas to use your horn except in case of emergencies. Use it freely if needed; it could save your life. On high mountain roads, always make a short beep shortly before going around a blind curve. Driving in the middle of the road is very common, especially on narrow roads, and is not necessarily a bad idea if you are expecting to have to avoid a sudden obstruction such as rockfalls, grazing goats, or an unexpected parked car.
Parking is forbidden (though it may not be marked) within 9 feet of a fire hydrant, 15 feet of an intersection, or 45 feet from a bus stop. In some areas, street parking requires purchase of a ticket from a booth. These areas will usually be posted in both English and Greek.
The central Athens area restricts car access to reduce congestion, based on whether or not the car license plate ends in an odd or even number, so check before you enter as to whether it applies to foreign plated cars. Fines are expensive, often hundreds of euros and with Greece's current financial crisis, enforcement rates will probably rise.
For visitors to Greece, dial 112 for multi-language help. Dial 100 for Police, 166 for Fires, and 199 for ambulance service. For roadside service, use the number identified on your European Breakdown Cover policy.
What do I need to drive in Greece?
Minimum age for drivers must is 18 and EU citizens can use their own drivers licences. When driving your own car you need a valid registration, proof of internationally valid insurance (check beforehand with your insurance company) and your driver's license.
- · Valid driving licence
- · Proof of identification (passport)
- · Insurance documents (third part or above)
- · Proof of ownership (registration certificate)
If you do not own the vehicle you are driving, you are advised to obtain written permission from the registered owner.
In 2012 there were 1,027 road deaths in Greece. This equates to 9.1 road deaths per 100,000 of population and compares to the UK average of 2.8 road deaths per 100,000 population in 2012.
Greece Driving Laws
Seat belts are required for all passengers, whether in the front or back seat of the vehicle. No children under the age of ten should be in the front seat. Greece also has laws requiring children up to four years old to be in an approved child safety seat in the back seat.
Equipment required by drivers:
It is compulsory in Greece to carry the following safety equipment within any vehicle with more than 2 wheels:
- · A Warning triangle
- · First-aid kit
- · Fire extinguisher
- · Headlamp converters
Standard speed limits (km/h) unless otherwise stated by traffic signs:
Urban roads (31 mph).
Non-urban roads (56 mph).
Motorways / expressways (80 - 62 mph).
Urban roads (31 mph).
Non-urban roads (50 mph).
Motorways / expressways (62 - 50 mph).
Drinking and Driving
Drinking and driving is also a serious offence. The drink drive limit in Greece is 0.05% (0.25 mg per litre of blood, lower than the UK).
Motorbikes must use dipped headlights at all times and the wearing of crash helmets is compulsory for both driver and passenger.
It is now illegal to use your cell phone while driving in Greece. Violators can be stopped and issued a fine.
General Driving Advice
So to recap here is our checklist for driving in Greece:
- Ensure you have proper documentation: valid driving licence, ID, driving insurance covering driving in Greece, proof of ownership (registration certification).
- Take plenty of breaks when driving long distances.
- Ensure rear passengers are wearing seat belts and remember children 10 and under are not allowed to travel in the front seat. Children below 4 years are also required to be seated on a booster seat.
- Ensure your car is equipped with the following safety equipment: A Warning triangle, First-aid kit, Fire extinguisher and headlamp converters.
- Check fuel compatibility as some fuels may not be compatible with your vehicle.
- Do not drink and drive.
- Observe local speed limits.
Driving to Greece through another destination? You might like to read our guides to:
Need breakdown cover for Greece? Eurobreakdown.com can provide you with comprehensive single trip breakdown cover or annual multi trip breakdown policies with a best price guarantee.
Reference: The statistics mentioned on this page were sourced from the Reported Road Casualties Great Britain:2012 Annual Report and, to the best of Eurobreakdown.com’s knowledge, are correct at the time of publication (June 2014).
For general European driving tips click here